Sean Abbott excels with ball as Welsh Fire lose again
Manchester Originals recorded their first victory of the men’s Hundred against the winless Welsh Fire by 47 runs at Emirates Old Trafford.
Sean Abbott gave the crowd the perfect parting gift in his last home match before he leaves for Australia’s tour of Zimbabwe, taking three catches and four wickets for just eight runs.
In a bowler-dominated affair, a fast start from Originals openers Jos Buttler and Phil Salt was hauled back by a disciplined Fire attack led by Jake Ball, who finished with figures of four for 29 off 20 balls as the Originals set what seemed to be an under-par 149 for nine.
That proved to be more than enough however, as regular wickets meant the Fire never got close, bowled out for just 102, as Dwaine Pretorius top-scored with 29.
Originals captain Buttler, who by his own count lost his 16th toss in a row, showed no ill-effects from being asked to bat first.
He and opening partner Salt, who at one point hit three consecutive sixes off Jake Ball, raced to 66 off just 35 balls before the latter was bowled by Adam Zampa for 38 off 22 balls.
Wayne Madsen then tried to take up the run-scoring mantle, taking a particular liking for Zampa, but it was the Australia international who had the last laugh, catching Madsen at point for 10.
From that moment disciplined bowling from the Welsh Fire ensured that the Originals were unable to replicate the ease with which they had batted at the start of their innings.
First, Buttler was bowled by Zampa on 29, who began the Fire’s recovery with two wickets for 17 before Laurie Evans was dismissed first ball, brilliantly bowled by Matt Critchley.
Andre Russell looked to use the full extent of his world-renowned power, striking some lusty blows before he holed out to deep cover for 17 off 13, before Paul Walter, Tristan Stubbs, and Abbott also fell in quick succession in search of late-innings runs.
Matt Parkinson was caught off the final delivery to give Ball his fourth wicket and conclude the Originals’ innings on 149.
Looking to emulate the Original’s quick start to their innings, Joe Clarke was well caught in the deep by Abbott off the bowling of Mitchell Stanley for 10 and Abbott then had Tom Banton caught and bowled for three.
The Originals’ spinners then began to make inroads into the Fire middle order as Sam Hain was caught by Russell, who made amends for a simple drop, off the bowling of Tom Hartley for five.
Hain was swiftly followed back by Ben Duckett for a breezy 25 off 15 before being caught in the deep off Stubbs. The South African then dismissed Fire captain Josh Cobb first ball, well-held by opposing number Buttler.
The procession of wickets continued as, amid resistance from Pretorius, the dangerous David Miller was caught at cover for seven off Russell before Abbott took the wickets of Critchley and Zampa.
With victory a near certainty, wicketkeeper Salt smartly ran David Payne out for eight and local favourite Parkinson then took the final wicket of Pretorius to ensure that the two points stayed in the north west to leave the Fire at the foot of the table.